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seemed! It might have succeeded, I can't say: but the bold and merry, the hearty and kindly Rolando came to grief — a little matter of imitated signatures occasioned a Bank persecu: tion of Rolando the Brave. He walked about armed, and vowed he would never be taken alive: but taken he was; tried, condemned, sentenced to perpetual banishment; and I heard that for some time he was universally popular in the colony which had the honor to possess him. What a song he could sing! 'Twas when the cup was sparkling before us, and heaven gave a portion of its blue, boys, blue, that I remember the song of Roland at the 6 Old Piazza Coffee-house." And now where is the ó Old Piazza Coffee-house?” Where is Thebes? where is Troy? where is the Colossus of Rhodes? Ah, Rolando, Rolando! thou wert a gallant captain, a cheery, a handsome, a merry. At me thou never presentedst pistol. Thou badest the bumper of Burgundy fill, fill for me, giving those who preferred it champagne. Cælum non animum, &c. Do you think he has reformed now that he has crossed the sea, and changed the air? I have my own opinion. Howbeit, Rolando, thou wert a most kind and hospitable bandit. And I love not to think of thee with a chain at thy shin.
Do you know how all these memories of unfortunate men have come upon me? When they came to frighten me this morning by speaking of my robbed pears, my perforated garden wall, I was reading an article in the Saturday Review about Rupilius. I have sat near that young man at a public dinner, and beheld him in a gilded uniform. But yesterday he lived in splendor, had long hair, a flowing beard, å jewel at his neck, and a smart surtout. So attired, he stood but yesterday in court; and to-day he sits over a bowl of prison cocoa, with a shaved head, and in a felon's jerkin.
That beard and head shaved, that gaudy deputy-lieutenant's coat exchanged for fełon uniform, and your daily bottle of champagne for prison cocoa, my poor Rupilius, what a comfort it'must be to have the business brought to an end! Champagne was the honorable gentleman's drink in the House of Commons dining-room, as I am informed. What uncommonly dry champagne that must have been! When we saw him outwardly happy, how miserable he must have been ! when we thought him prosperous, how dismally poor! When the great Mr. Harker, at the public dinners, called out — “ Gentlemen, charge your glasses, and please silence for the Honorable Member for Lambeth!” how that Honorable Member must have writhed inwardly! One day, when there was a talk of a gentleman's
honor being questioned, Rupilius said, “If any man doubted mnine, I would knock him down." But that speech was in the way of business. The Spartan boy, who stole the fox, smiled while the beast was gnawing him under his cloak: I promise you Rupilius had some sharp fangs gnashing under his. We have sat at the same feast, I say: we have paid our contribution to the same charity. Ah! when I ask this day for my daily bread, I pray not to be led into temptation, and to be delivered from evil.
I ARRIVED by the night-mail packet from Dover. The passage had been rough, and the usual consequences had ensued. I was disinclined to travel farther that night on my road to Paris, and knew the Calạis hotel of old as one of the cleanest, one of the dearest, one of the most comfortable hotels on the continent of Europe. There is no town more French than Calais. That charming old “ Hôtel Dessein,” with its court, its gardens, its lordly kitchen, its princely waiter - a gentleman of the old school, who has welcomed the finest company in Europe — have long been known to me. I have read complaints in The Times, more than once, I think, that the Dessein bills are dear. A bottle of soda-water certainly costs - well, never mind how much. I remember as a boy, at the “ Ship” at Dover (imperante Carolo Decimo), when, my place to London being paid, I had but 12s. left after a certain little Paris excursion (about which my benighted parents never knew anything), ordering for dinner a whiting, a beefsteak, and a glass of negus, and the bill was, dinner 7s., glass of negus 2s., waiter 6d., and only half a crown left, as I was a sinner, for the guaril and coachman on the way to London ! And I was a sinner. I had gone without leave. What a long, dreary, guilty forty hours' journey it was from Paris to Calais, I remember! How did I come to think of this escapade, which occurred in the Easter vacation of the year 1830? I always think of it when I am crossing to Calais. Guilt, sir, guilt remains stamped on the memory, and I feel easier in my mind now that it is liberated of this old peccadillo. I met my college tutor only yesterday. We were travelling, and stopped at the same hotel. He had the very next room to mine. After he had gone into his apartment, having shaken me quite kindly by the hand, I felt inclined to knock at his door and say, Doctor Bentley, I beg your pardon, but do you remember, when I was going down at the Easter vacation in 1830, you asked me where I was going to spend my vacation? And I said, With my friend Slingsby, in Huntingdonshire. Well, sir, I grieve to have to confess that I told you a fib. I had got 201. and was going for a lark to Paris, where my friend Edwards was staying." There, it is out. The Doctor will read it, for I did not wake him up after all to make my confession, but protest he shall have a copy of this Roundabout sent to him when he returns to his lodge.
They gave me a bedroom there; a very neat room on the first floor, looking into the pretty garden. The hotel must look pretty much as it did a hundred years ago when he visited it. I wonder whether he paid his bill? Yes: bis journey was just begun. He had borrowed or got the inoney somehow. Such a man would spend it liberally enough when he had it, give generously nay, drop a tear over the fate of the poor fellow.whom be relieved. I don't believe a word he says, but I never accused him of stinginess about money. That is a fault of much more virtuous people than he. Mr. Laurence is ready enough with his purse when there are anybody's guineas in it. Still when I went to bed in the room, in his room ; when I think how I admire, dislike, and have abused him, a certain dim feeling of apprehension filled my mind at the midnight hour. What if I should see his lean figure in the black-satin breeches, his sinister smile, his long thin finger pointing to me in the moonlight (for I am in bed, and have popped my candle out), and he should say, “You mistrust me, you hate me, do you? And you, don't you know how Jack, Tom, and Harry, your brother anthors, hate you ? ” I grin and laugh in the moonlight, in the midnight, in the silence." () you ghost in black-satin breeches and a wig! I like to be hated by some men,” I say. “I know men whose lives are a scheme, whose laughter is a conspiracy, whose smile means something else, whose hatred is a cloak, and I had rather these men should hate me than not.”
“My good sir,” says he, with a ghastly grin on his lean face, "you bave your wish.”
Après?” I say: 6. Please let me go to sleep. I shan't sleep any the worse because
- Because there are insects in the bed, and they sting you?” (This is only by way of illustration, my good sir; the animals don't bite me now. All the house at present seems to me ex
cellently clean.) 6. "Tis absurd to affect this indifference. If you are thin-skinned, and the reptiles bite, they keep you from sleep."
" There are some men who cry out at a flea-bite as loud as if they were torn by a vulture," I growl.
- Men of the genus irritabile, my worthy good gentleman! - and you are one.”
“Yes, sir, I am of the profession, as you say ; and I dare say make a great shouting and crying at a small hurt."
" You are ashamed of that quality by which you earn your subsistence, and such reputation as you have? Your sensibility is your livelihood, my worthy friend. You feel a pang of pleasure or pain? It is noted in your memory, and some day or other makes its appearance in your manuscript. Why, in your last Roundabout rubbish you mention reading your first novel on the day when King George IV. was crowned. member him in his cradle at St. James's, a lovely little babe; a gilt Chinese •railing was before him, and I dropped the tear of sensibility as I gazed on the sleeping cherub." 66 A tear
a fiddlestick, Mr. STERNE," I growled out, for of course I knew my friend in the wig and satin breeches to be no other than the notorious, nay, celebrated Mr. Laurence Sterne.
“ Does not the sight of a beautiful infant charm and melt you, mon ami ? If not, I pity you. Yes, he was beautiful. I was in London the year he was born. I used to breakfast at the · Mount Coffee-house.' I did not become the fashion until two years later, when my • Tristram 'made his appearance, who has held his own for a hundred years. By the way, mon bon monsieur, how many authors of your present time will last till the next century? Do you think Brown will?”
I laughed with scorn as I lay in my bed (and so did the ghost give a ghastly snigger).
“ Brown!” I roared. 6. One of the most over-rated men that ever put pen to paper!”
“ What do you think of Jones?”
I grew indignant with this old cynic. " As a reasonable ghost, come out of the other world, you don't mean,” I said, 6. to ask me a serious opinion of Mr. Jones? His books may
be very good reading for maid-servants and school-boys, but you don't ask me to read them? As a scholar yourself you must know that "
“Well, then, Robinson ?” “ Robinson, I am told, has merit. I dare say ; I never have
been able to read his books, and can't, therefore, form any opinion about Mr. Robinson. At least you will allow that I am not speaking in a prejudiced manner about him."
** Ah! I see you men of letters have your cabals and jealousies, as we had in my time. There was an Irish fellow by the name of Gouldsmith, who used to abuse me; but he went into no genteel company and faith! it mattered little, his praise or abuse. I never was more surprised than when I heard that Mr. Irving, an American gentleman of parts and elegance, had wrote the fellow's life. To make a hero of that man, my dear sir, 'twas ridiculous! You followed in the fashion, I hear, and chose to lay a wreath before this queer little idol. Preposterous ! A pretty writer, who has turned some neat couplets. Bah! I have no patience with Master Posterity, that has chosen to take up this fellow, and make a hero of him! And there was another gentleman of my time, Mr. Thiefcatcher Fielding, forsooth! a fellow with the strength, and the tastes, and the manners of a porter! What madness has possessed you all to bow before that Calvert Butt of a man? -a creature without elegance or sensibility! The dog had spirits, certainly. I remember my Lord Bathurst praising them : but as for reading his books ma foi, I would as lief go and dive for tripe in a cellar. The man's vulgarity stifles me. He wafts me whiffs of gin. Tobacco and onions are in his great coarse laugh, which choke me, pardi ; and I don't think much better of the other fellow — the Scots' gallipot purveror — Peregrine Clinker, Humphrey Random – how did the fellow call his rubbish? Neither of these men had the bel air, the bon ton, the je ne sçais quoy.
Pah! If I meet them in my walks by our Stygian river, I give them a wide berth, as that hybrid apothecary fellow would say. An ounce of civet, good apothecary; horrible, horrible! The mere thought of the coarseness of those men gives me the chair de poule. Mr. Fielding, especially, has no more sensibility than a butcher in Fleet Market. He takes his heroes out of ale-house kitchens, or worse places still. And this is the person whom Posterity has chosen to honor along with me
Faith, Monsieur Posterity, you have put me in pretty company, and I see you are no wiser than we were in our time. Mr. Fielding, forsooth ! Mr. Tripe and Onions ! Mr. Cowheel and Gin! for nothing, Monsieur Posterity!”
“And so," thought I, “even among these Stygians this envy and quarrelsomeness (if you will permit me the word) survive? What a pitiful meanness! To be sure, I can under